General Licensing Class from Conejo Valley Amateur Radio Club

Sep 26, 2020

I'm attending the General license class offered by the Conejo Valley Amateur Radio Club, 8 am-noon Saturdays for five weeks. (I missed the first week.) This is a club over in Thousand Oaks, not far from me in Venice. If I combine the class with reading the ARRL General Class License Manual and HamTestOnline, I think I'll be able to pass the General test this time.

For remote testing during the pandemic, the instructor Bill Willcox KF6JQO referred us to GLAARG VEC. From their web site:

The Greater Los Angeles Amateur Radio Group VEC is one of the fourteen FCC-recognized Volunteer-Exam Coordinators conducting amateur radio exams. GLAARG is a VEC testing organization, not a radio club. Our exam fee is $10 for remote exams and $5 for in-person exams. Exam fees are waived for minors 18 years and under, students with a current ID, first responders, Active Military, Veterans, and GLAARG VEs upgrading to Extra.

During the class, Bill mentioned how useful he finds antenna analyzers. He spoke of Raspberry Pi-based analyzers. Since I've been experimenting with Raspberry Pi and other single-board microcontrollers lately, I did a quick search. An interesting example is the Arduino-based EU1KY Antenna Analyzer Kit, based on the W8TEE analyzer, but upgraded to a more powerful processor with digital signal processing. Interesting stuff! Thinking of my camper, I asked Bill whether antenna analyzers are important in mobile rigs, and he said they are. Not surprising, since mobile antennas have compromises, since they must fit under overpasses. And mobile installations natually have a lot of variables.

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